Nestled in the scenic 1,200-acre Harrison Bay State Park, this 4-mile loop trail serves as an inviting introduction to mountain biking for beginners. Developed originally in the 1930s as a Tennessee Valley Authority recreation demonstration area, Harrison Bay offers more than just a biking trail. It is steeped in history, named after the old town of Harrison and the last Cherokee Campground, and boasts approximately 40 miles of Chickamauga Lake shoreline.
From Chattanooga, take Exit 4 off I-75 onto State Route 153. Head north and take the sixth exit, Hwy. 58, turning north again. After about 12 miles, Harrison Bay Road appears on the left. Follow the signs, and the park entrance is around a mile down the road, at 8411 Harrison Bay Road, Harrison, TN 37341. Once inside the park, the trailhead is easy to locate near the marina.
Most riders describe the trail as "fast and flat," making it a perfect arena for novice bikers. Though largely straightforward, it does introduce a touch of challenge with small elevation changes and minor technical features like roots and a few rocks. These elements serve to develop a new rider's skills in line choice and speed control.
The Harrison Bay State Park trail may not be the first choice for those looking for technically demanding rides, but what it lacks in challenge, it makes up for in accessibility and scenic beauty. If you're in the Chattanooga area and new to mountain biking—or simply want a tranquil, easy ride by the lake—this trail deserves a spot on your list.